Pakistan buries mosque blast victims as dying toll passes 90

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

By Jibran Ahmad

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Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan Asim Munir and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif go to an injured, after a suicide blast in a mosque, at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan January 30, 2023. Prime Minister’s Office/Delivery Release by way of REUTERS

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Desperate family thronged hospitals in Pakistan’s Peshawar on Tuesday to seek for their family, a day after a suicide bomber tore by way of a packed mosque in a closely fortified vicinity of ​​the metropolis, killing extra than 90 individuals , largely cops.

The assault inside the Police Lines district follows a surge in violence in opposition to cops on this quiet northwestern city close to the Afghan border. No group has claimed duty.

“My son, my child,” cried an aged girl on foot beside an ambulance carrying coffins, as rescue people rushed wounded individuals to a hospital emergency unit.

At least 170 individuals have been injured inside the blast, which destroyed the mosque’s top ground as thousands of worshipers have been featuring noon prayers.

Riaz Mahsud, a senior nearby authorities official, stated the dying toll was probable to rise as people sifted by way of the particles. “We are cutting three main beams of the building and efforts are underway to cut the remaining one,” he informed Reuters.

Live video footage confirmed individuals going to hospitals to determine the useless and have a tendency to the wounded.

The mosque is the primary place of worship inside the district, which homes the workplaces of the police and the counter-terrorism unit.

Authorities say they don’t understand how the bombers managed to enter the vicinity, which is protected by a sequence of checkpoints manned by police and army personnel. Defense Minister Khawaja Asif stated the bomber was inside the the front row of the prayer corridor when he detonated his explosives.

Peshawar sits on the fringe of the Pashtun tribal areas, a location mired in violence over the previous twenty years. The most lively militant group inside the vicinity is the Pakistani Taliban, additionally referred to as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella group for Sunni and sectarian Islamist factions against the authorities in Islamabad.

The TTP denied duty for Monday’s bombings, even though it has stepped up assaults since pulling out of a peace cope with the authorities final 12 months.

The bombing passed off a day earlier than an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission arrives in Islamabad for talks on a stalled $7 billion bailout.

The most up-to-date assault was even deadlier than the one claimed by Islamic State final March, after they bombed a Shiite mosque, killing a minimum of 58 individuals.

Reporting by Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar, writing by Asif Shahzad and Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly, Miral Fahmy and Simon Cameron-Moore

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